Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences


POPLHLTH 216 - Essential Epidemiology

15 Points

Semester 2
Tāmaki

Description


A good understanding of epidemiology is essential for people working in public health.

The course introduces the basic epidemiological principles and methods, including measures of disease frequency and the main study designs used in epidemiology to determine the association between exposure and disease.

These methods are applied to the major diseases in New Zealand to illustrate the central role of epidemiology in identifying risk factors, evaluating treatments and understanding the consequences (prognosis) of having these diseases.


Students are introduced to EpiInfo, public-domain software developed by the CDC Atlanta, and gain practical skills in creating a computerised questionnaire, and analysing quantitative data. EpiInfo is also taught in POPLHLTH 304 and students who take both courses will have a strong practical grounding in the use of this software package

Requisites


Prerequisite: POPLHLTH 111

Course objectives


  • Understand the basic principles of measuring disease
  • Understand the basic study designs used in epidemiology
  • Understand the epidemiology of the major diseases affecting the NZ population
  • Introduction to EpiInfo software & learn how to create computerised questionnaires and data analysis using this computer package

 

Learning outcomes


  • Explain the key methods for measuring disease occurrence
  • Explain the main study designs used in epidemiology
  • Explain the contribution of epidemiology to our understanding of the major diseases affecting New Zealanders
  • Create a computerised questionnaire and analyse data using EpiInfo

 

 

Assesments


Assignments (50%)

  • Epidemiological calculations: 2 assignments, 10% each
  • Create a computer questionnaire in EpiInfo 10%
  • Analyse data using EpiInfo and interpret results 20%

Final examination (50%)

 

 

Course schedule


Week

Title

1

Introduction & Measures of disease frequency

Measuring & monitoring disease: mortality, life expectancy, trends, registers & surveys

2

NZ Mortality trends: the healthy country? – a history of life and death in NZ

Measures of effect

Questionnaire design

3

Cohort studies

Cohort study example: Growing Up in NZ

4

Cross-sectional studies: MoH national surveys (incl. NZ Health Survey)

Cross-sectional study example:

Children’s Nutrition Survey

5

Intervention studies

RCT example: Smoking cessation

6

Case control studies & Bias in observational studies

Case control study example: NZ Cot death study

Mid-semester break

 

7

Screening

Prevention

8

Lung diseases: asthma & COPD

Blood pressure & arterial function

9

Heart disease

Stroke

10

Breast cancer

Bowel cancer

11

Prostate cancer

Lung cancer

12

Diabetes

Review

 

 

Recommended text book

The recommended textbook is Essential Epidemiology by Webb and Bain.

 

Course Director